Joy in the Journey

Mommy reads a blog called Morning Story and Dilbert. She asked me to share this short excerpt from it, as it pertains to all of us dogs who want to dig our tunnels to visit each other, whether from Tennessee to Florida or Australia to Canada!

Two brothers decided to dig a deep hole behind their house. As they were working, a couple of older boys stopped by to watch.

“What are you doing?” asked one of the visitors.

“We plan to dig a hole all the way through the earth!” one of the brothers volunteered excitedly.

The older boys began to laugh, telling the younger ones that digging a hole all the way through the earth was impossible. After a long silence, one of the diggers picked up a jar full of spiders, worms and a wide assortment of insects. He removed the lid and showed the wonderful contents to the scoffing visitors.

Then he said quietly and confidently, “Even if we don’t dig all the way through the earth, look what we found along the way!”

Their goal was far too ambitious, but it did cause them to dig. And that is what a goal is for – to cause us to move in the direction we have chosen; in other words, to set us to digging!

But when we fall short of our aim, perhaps we can say, “Yes, but look at what we found along the way! Look at the wonderful things which have come into our life because we tried to do something!”

It is in the digging that life is lived. It constitutes the joy in the journey.



Memory Monday: Riley’s Arrival

Riley on MY bed. I am praying for deliverance.

Riley on MY bed. I am busy here praying for deliverance. Where’s my Mother Mary night light?

Today, Mom left me home with Dad, because he missed me so much while I was on my special trip to PA. She also had to go to the doctor to get another shot for the lingering poison ivy on her way to work this morning. So, I was laying around in MY bed when I discovered Riley was intent on making himself at home there too. You would think he had the run of the house while I was off on my mission of mercy. Hurumph.  You can see that I decided to pray for deliverance from the Dufus Riley. Mommy said that was so not nice.

So that got me to thinking about when Riley first arrived, and this is the story of that.

Memory Monday

November, 2010

A dog now named Riley has  come to live with us. Riley can’t claim a pedigree like I can. He is a mutt, a mongrel, a totally undignified mix of un-papered dogs who had a quick tryst, if you know what I mean. I shudder to think there are more like him running around out there. I couldn’t believe it when Mom brought him home in the first place. She called him Dufus the first couple of days he was here, and boy, did she have that right. She says she found him side winding like a rattler with legs down the middle of a busy back road and it was a miracle he hadn’t been hit by a car. When she stopped to save his life he splayed all four legs to stop her from putting him in her car. That shows what little intelligence he had even then. Who wouldn’t want to ride in a comfortable Toyota Avalon with heated leather seats? At the time Riley was only six months old and 28 pounds, plenty small enough for her to win that battle. She walked in the house announcing she had found a dog, but don’t worry, she wasn’t keeping him. She would find his owner or put him up for adoption on a website and that would be that. My BFF Auntie Jen and my Dad just looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed.

After a few days of advertising and no one claiming him, Mom declared he needed a name other than Dufus. “I mean,” she said, “who will take a dog called ‘Dufus’?” So she and Auntie Jen got on the internet to look at dog names. When Mom saw “Riley” she decided that fit him really well. At this point we were all supposed to start calling him “Riley” instead of “Dufus.” *sigh*

The next day Dad took him to the vet who said he had almost every worm known to dog, except, thankfully, heart worms. So he got Dufus  Riley de-wormed, vaccinated and on heart worm prevention. Oh, and did I mention he also had ringworm, which is really a contagious fungal infection, not even a worm? Aghh! Mom asked why Dad spent all that money on a dog they weren’t keeping. Dad said, “When you named him I knew we were keeping him.” Mom still denied it.

Then they bought him toys. So he wouldn’t chew anything in the house with his puppy teeth now starting to fall out. How that worked out is another whole story. Suffice it to say that we don’t have a sheet or blanket left in the house without at least one hole in it.  *sigh*

Six month old Riley with his new toys.

Six month old Riley with his new toys.

That’s the end of my Memory Monday. Hop on over to my sweet guy Noodle’s blog and check out his newest Memory Monday. Noodle 2

Back home in Tennessee

We left our BFF’s house early this morning and are back home. I already miss my newly trained Uncle Buddy. He took good care of me once he understood what a good communicator I am. Back home, Riley’s still here. Peeps brother Andrew is away. Haven’t seen the boy. Jentry is here mowing the grass. She needs to stop doing that and come in and cook something.

Whew, it was a hot ride home. Air conditioner all but conked out. I panted most of the way. Mom tried to put an ice pack on me, but I got in the back seat to avoid it.

I'm not sticking my tongue out at you, I'm just hot!

I’m not sticking my tongue out at you, I’m just hot!

Just south of Cincinnati we passed an exit for a place called Big Bone Lick State Park. I really, really wanted to go there, but Mom said we had to get on home.

If anyone goes, please save me some bones to lick.

If anyone goes, please save me some bones to lick.

Finally we reached Tennessee. I could tell by the mountains and curvy roads. I am back to my roots as a Southern girl.

Just a couple more hours until we get home.

Just a couple more hours until we get home.

So I am back home, and ready to receive company. Y’all come on by and say hi now, ya hear?

Another Groom Victim

For those of you just tuning it, Mom and I are in PA taking care of our BFF who was in a bad car accident. Pai the dog and Claudia the cat live there. Yesterday, Claud got shaved and this is what Pai looked like.

Paiana, pre-groom

Paisana, earlier this week.

Mom got up early today. She took me out, fed me, then this happened. I watched. *grin*

Paisana, post groom.

Paisana, post groom.

Pai does look happier since her groom, doesn’t she? Tomorrow is Saturday and there is no one left to groom, except…. no, no, no.


My schnauzer cousin Piper just got a bad report from the doctor. He went to the vet with a bladder infection. Then we found out it was caused by diabetes. He will need two insulin shots every day. Also, his Class 4 heart murmur has caused both sides of his heart to enlarge. If that weren’t enough, the enlargement is affecting his lung, which is why he has been wheezing. He is a year younger than me. Still a whippersnapper. His momma is finishing her culinary degree in Italy and will be gone for about 3 more weeks. She is worried half sick about him, and is stressed that she isn’t with him right now. We want to bring him home to us, but his new daddy wants to keep him there. We understand, but still hope he will change his mind. We love Piper too.

Piper and Me on Memorial Day 2015

L to R Me-Piper-Marley

L – R -Piper, Marley, Me 2007


L to R Me, Milo, Piper on Halloween 2011

L – R Me, Milo, Piper, Halloween skunks 2012

Piper sitting in grass Piper running smiling

Please pray for me.

Please send up good thoughts for me.

More News from our BFF’s

Mom and I have had a busy few days at our BFF’s. Remember Claud the c-a-t?

Claudia, aka Claud, aka the c-a-t

Claudia, aka Claud, aka the c-a-t

She now looks like this:

Claud the naked cat

Claud the naked cat

Yep, Mom brought her grooming tools from Tennessee and shaved the c-a-t. I saw the clippers come out and I know a look of panic crossed my face. Then I saw Mom carry Claud to her make-shift grooming table and watched as Claud promptly flew off the table, not to be seen again for hours. When Mom finally found Claud and got her back on the table, Mom “scruffed” her during the entire groom. She said it was the only way she could shave her. Claud was not amuzed. (I was.) In the picture above she is hiding in the closet.

Monday was our BFF’s birthday and there were people coming and going all day. I was worn out from greeting everyone with hearty barks. Tuesday was the same way. Thankfully, only one couple came by today, and they brought food. They liked me and I got some of the food. It was good eye talian food.

Mom left the house for a while yesterday and said she had a reunion with her whole family. She was gone a couple of hours. Here are the pictures she took of the reunion.

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he Family in Oakwood Cemetery

The Family in Oakwood Cemetery

When Mommy came back to our BFF’s, her eyes were red. Her eyelids were all red, too. Apparently, the poison ivy had come back with a vengeance and had traveled to her face.

Poison Ivy by nose and on eyelids. It itches.

Poison Ivy by nose and on eyelids. It itches.

It took three days for Mom’s doctor’s office to call in a prescription to the pharmacy and the pharmacy to get the medicine in stock. The rash wasn’t bad when Mom first called the doctor on Monday. By today – Wednesday – it is on it’s way to real bad. Mom is not amused.

Today we weeded and watered our BFF’s garden. She has flowers and tomato plants.  I adopted the St. Francis of Assisi statue. Did you know he is the patron saint of animals? I will leave it for our BFF to take care of it when we go home.

0722151840 0722151830

My daddy can’t be here, so I have adopted our BFF’s husband to be my temporary daddy. He thinks it’s great that I go to him now to ask to go out and to be fed and to get treats. 🙂 I wonder why my daddy at home doesn’t appreciate all the attention…

I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Memory Monday: Puppy Friend

Last Friday Mom brought me along to her home town in Western Pennsylvania (I called it pencil vain ya before, BOL!) to help take care of her BFF after she had a bad car accident. It was a 10 1/2 hour car drive, and I didn’t even nap once on the way. This was way too exiting. We made good time and arrived at 6:30 in the evening, plenty early to size up the eating and sleeping situations, as well as to get re-acquainted with the people and the dog and to meet the cat.

Pai, who is always sweet

Pai, who is always sweet

Claudia, aka Claud, aka the c-a-t

Claudia, aka Claud, aka the c-a-t

What I didn’t realize was going to happen was that I would hook back up with an old friend of mine. When we were both less than a year old I had a lot of fun one day playing with Pai, short for Paisana, which means “friend” in Italian. That’s what this Memory is about.


My Grandma

My Grandma

While Mom and I were visiting my Grandma at her home in Sharon, PA, we spent a day visiting with a friend and her Airedale/greyhound mix puppy, Pai (pronounced pie). I had just celebrated my first birthday, and although Pai was a few months younger than me, she was already much bigger. It was a Saturday, and we drove to a nearby school where we could run around off-leash and dig in the soft dirt of the playground. We started out digging to China. Then I saw that Pai could dig bigger holes faster than me, so I ran over to her and insisted she give me her hole. She was a very agreeable puppy – and she realized who was in charge – so she said OK and started digging a new hole. Pretty soon that hole started looking better than the one I had just taken from her that she gave me, so I ran over and took asked for that one too. Before long, I owned all the holes in the playground! It was getting late – time to get in the car and head back to Pai’s house. Oops, we’re both covered in mud! Pai’s mom drove the car home to “get the bath ready” while Mom walked us both to our destinies chance to get clean and good smelling again.

Now, be sure to check out my cute boyfriend’s Memory Monday post. Noodle 2

Sweet Lexi has left town

And here we go!

Mommy warned me Thursday night as she was grooming me that we we going out of town the next morning. I didn’t have a chance to let anyone know, but here I am in pencil vain ya. Or pee yea!  as Mom says. We are helping out a good friend who had a bad car accident. Mommy told me a gazillion times – both before we left and on the drive here – that I had to be sweet when we got there. Sweet to our friend. Sweet to our friend’s husband. Sweet  to their Airedale/greyhound mix, Pai (pronounced pie). Even sweet to their c-a-t, Claudia. That’s asking an awful lot of sweetness from one little schnauzer. Guess what? I did it! They are all fooled. The people keep saying how sweet I am. Mommy reminded me that Pai and I played together when we were both puppies, but that was quite a while ago and I don’t really remember. Pai has been really nice to me, even bowing to invite me to play. We both BOLed at that for awhile, until we were finally asked to be quiet. Claudia has mostly been staying out of my way, although last night, while I was on the couch, she came over and waved her tail in my face. Her behavior was so rude that I didn’t even look at her.

It was a long trip so Mommy set my breakfast in the back seat along with my water bowl. I got bored.


Mommy was only slightly amused.

Mommy told me about some of the things we saw along the way:

The mountains are beautiful going heading north through Tennessee.

The mountains are beautiful heading north through Tennessee.

Look at this gigantic cross right on I-75

The roads were very curvy as we went through the Appalachian Mountains. I even saw a sign along the road that said

The roads were very curvy as we went through the Appalachian Mountains. I even saw a sign along the road that said “Stinking Creek.” Glad we kept going!

This Cincinnati, Ohio skyline is supposed to be famous.  Look at all the traffic.

This Cincinnati, Ohio skyline is supposed to be famous. Look at all the traffic.

The leaning tower of pizza. BOL! Just kidding, although pizza would have been good about then. It's really a hotel with a restaurant at the very top that slowly turns so that you can see miles in every direction. Also in Cincinnati.

The leaning tower of pizza. BOL! Just kidding, although pizza would have been good about then. It’s really a hotel  in Cincinnati with a restaurant at the very top that slowly turns so that you can see miles in every direction.

Look at the smog (air pollution) in Columbus, Ohio.

Look at the smog (air pollution) in Columbus, Ohio.

This is an old factory in Columbus (the capital city of Ohio).

This is an old factory in Columbus (the capital city of Ohio).

Religious Dilemma

I found my Mother Mary nightlight that my Dad gave me before he was my Dad. What happened way back in the fall of 2004 was this: Mommy heard Daddy – who was then my bestest friend Jeff – say something they say in church during Holy Communion as he placed my night-night treat on my tongue. She told him not to do that any more. Since my bestest friend Jeff – now my Dad – is an easy-going sort of guy, he didn’t argue. Instead, he went out and bought me a Mother Mary night light to put next to my kennel. I really liked it when he explained to me what it was. I started sending good thoughts up to the Mother Mary and became a good Catholic dog. Mommy was not happy. I’m not sure why. Maybe she wanted to be my only mother. In any case, she took my night light and hid it.  She said that my bestest friend Jeff has a wicked sense of humor, but enough was enough. That was a long time ago – almost 11 years.

As I started to say, today, I found it.

I've got my Mother Mary night light back. *snicker*

I’ve got my Mother Mary night light back. *snicker*

Since that all happened, I have become a good Episcopalian dog. I go to the church on the mountain at least two times every week. But I really like my night light. I am in something called a quandary. In other words, I don’t know what to do. Do I have to give up my night light to keep my new faith? Or do I have to go back to being a good Catholic dog to enjoy my night light? Can someone tell me what I should do (before Mommy unplugs it and takes it away again)?

So peaceful. And now I don't trip going up the stairs to bed during the night.

So peaceful. And now I don’t trip going up the stairs next to bed during the night.

Memory Monday – Winning at Freestyle

Hi friends. Today is….Memory Monday! I have been thinking about my first Freestyle Competition. For those of you who don’t already know, Freestyle is coordinated movement between a person and a dog, set to music selected for the dog’s tempo. In other words, it is doggie dancing! Woohoo! Here we go…

May, 2011

I had spent a grueling six or more months preparing for my first competition. My tempo had to be determined (145 bpm), then music picked out. Mom and I tried out lots of different 145 bpm music until we came upon Dan Landrum’s Split Rail Fences. He plays an instrument called the hammered dulcimer, and the beat and sound of the music made me pick up my feet, lift up my head and prance around the floor. Voila, we had our music.  I was starting in Level IIa,  where there were standard moves we had to include, such as right and left side heels, face work including backing and different crosses. We worked hard on all that, and being a natural, I quickly perfected the moves.

The next step was putting together a routine using all those moves. Mom and I went to the dance studio and worked on the wooden floors where it wasn’t too hard on our joints, and we had plenty of space to m-o-v-e. After about 40 minutes I would get tired and lose interest, so we kept the workouts down to around a half hour each time. Sometimes we would do what Mommy had sketched out on her writing pad, and sometimes we would do what I thought went best with the music. That’s part of being a team. Combining both our ideas, we finally had a routine. Now to practice, practice, practice that routine until we could both do it without hesitation (and without Mommy looking at her notes).

Finally, the big day arrived. My good friend Pierre is one of the bosses at C.G. Roxanne water bottling company, and he sent over tons of water for the thirsty people. I was the official spokes dog for the company that day.

Lexi with CG Roxanne Water (1)Mom bought me a new travel kennel so I would have my own private place to rest. It is sort of like a celebrity dressing room. I was very happy and excited and kept popping up to see what was happening next.


I had my music edited to fit our routine and we brought that to be played for My Performance our dance. When I got there I receive my Freestyle medallion. I also got a program with my name and stats in it, along with all the important info about our dance. (I don’t know why they called me a b…ch!) I was number 203, and Mom had to wear a sign rubber banded around her arm so everyone would know it was me.


Mom and I went onto the center of the floor, where we both bowed to the judges (well, at least in my mind I did) and assumed our starting positions. Mom nodded at the minion Jim who was running sound and we started our routine to Split Rail Fences. I was brilliant. I was so brilliant that I got some points deducted. The judges said I wasn’t allowed to do laterals at this level. (Laterals are where Mommy and I both move sideways by facing forward and crossing our legs. I am a natural “leftie” so that’s the direction we moved. It’s lots of fun.) No one had told Mommy that the rules had changed since she ordered the rule book. Even so, the judges wrote that on the bottom of the score sheet. They also wrote,”A delightful and joyful team.” I still won a medal, and we went home tired and happy!0712151619

Now, my amazing four year old boyfriend, Noodle, shares a Monday Memory.

Noodle 2 (You will see that we are a good couple – both so talented! 🙂 )

Memory Monday – Remembering a scary walk

I was thinking about my walk through the neighborhood yesterday with Mommy and Riley and I remembered my walk from H-E-double hockey sticks! I decided that would be good to share on Memory Monday. As a side note, the other dog in the story didn’t actually die like we thought. The Lady who owned him came by our yard sale last month and told Mom that she made her husband take him to the no-kill  shelter so he would have a chance, and the person at the shelter called her later to tell her that the monster dog got a good home. Just so his new home isn’t in my neighborhood!!

My Memory Monday story: I think I almost died: the story of getting dog-bit

June 8, 2014

Hysterical. Yes, I was hysterical. Wouldn’t you be hysterical if someone had hold of your tail with their teeth and was trying to tear it off? Wouldn’t you be hysterical if that same someone had already bitten you in the butt? Wouldn’t you be screaming your crazy head off if all that was happening to you? You know you would. There is a time for hysterics, and that was it.

 It was a lovely day for a walk through our peaceful neighborhood with my Mom and brother Riley. There are no sidewalks and only cars from the neighbors go by, so we were all strolling down the middle of the road toward the cul-de-sac. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a smallish white and brown terrier came tearing at us, curving around our right side where Riley was walking. Later, as her excuse for not rescuing me sooner, Mom related that everyone got behind her and she couldn’t see what was happening. As she turned to look, all three of us kept circling behind her so it took her what was a very long minute to quickly turn the other way. Her first thoughts were that Riley was attacking and killing the interloper. The screams were deafening. When she finally got us all in front of her, she saw the horrible terrier was trying to tear off my tail. That was me screaming! At that point she had the presence of mind to grab me up into her arms and chase away that vicious creature. What, you may ask, was Riley doing all this time? I’ll tell you what – standing there like a big dope with his tail tucked between his legs, looking all worried.

 This dog’s mom came running out wanting to know if I was ok. Of course I wasn’t ok! Didn’t she hear me screaming!? I wasn’t shaking, so everyone must have thought I was ok. I was probably in shock. In my mind I had gone to my happy places: yellow brick rd2015-04-12 15.52.18Someone should have administered first aid. Ice cream to the tongue is usually the best. But I was bleeding. Now, I could be vindictive and tell you what breed this little monster was (not schnauzer, I assure you). But I hear there are good dogs in this breed, so I won’t try to prejudice you against them. I think this one was just crazy as bat poop. Her mom said she was thirteen years old and had always attacked any dog she could get her teeth into. My Mom said she would inform her if there was a vet bill. Egads, could the day get any worse?

 So here we go back down the road toward home, me all dog bit and Riley all tucked under, and what happens next? A car bearing a very little girl stops next to us, the window rolls down, and the lady driving the car says, “Oh, my daughter loves dogs! Can she see them?”

This would have been a good time for me to go running into the woods, but Mom had that pinch collar thingy on my neck and I couldn’t get away.

Thinking the woman would have some sense in her head and leave, Mom said, “My small dog here just got bit by another dog, so she would have to pet this big one.” Not to be deferred by a poor bleeding schnauzer or a seventy pound hulk, the lady came around the car and opened the door where the little one was strapped into a car seat. Mom started pulling Riley over to the car. To his credit – or lack of good sense – Riley does enjoy the little people and is very careful around them. This time, however, he started pulling away from the car, which meant pulling away from the child. Still pressing on with her agenda, the lady unlatched what by now had been revealed to be a one-year-old girl from her car seat, took her out and stood her up next to the big red dog. Riley rubbed her gently with his giant T-Rex head and made googly eyes at her. For once, I was glad to be ignored. Mission accomplished, the lady strapped the child back into her car seat and shut the door. What happens when you remove a dog-loving child from a huge, child-loving dog? Yep, the crying and reaching began. By the child, not by Riley. So Mom tried to take the Ri-boy back over to the car, but he was having none of it. Finally the lady drove on down the road, leaving us to make our way back home to take care of me.

Bad day rapidly getting worse…I got dropped into the dog bathtub as soon as we walked through the door. There was talk about disinfecting the wounds. I lost some hair on my left rump where the creature’s fang had punctured me. And I was bleeding from the underside of my tail. The good news was that Mom determined I didn’t need to go to the vet. Whew, dodged that bullet, as well as the inevitable glass stick up the patuti.

 Since the story of my misadventure winds down about now, this seems like a good time to go back to the story of Riley. Because of something bad that happened to him at the dog park, he acquired this nasty habit of attacking other dogs. Ever since then, everyone has been trying to teach him to be nice when he meets other dogs. I’ve noticed that he has been playing nicely with two dogs who live next door, and not bothering any of the other neighborhood dogs. So it seems that when the monster dog attacked me, he was torn about what to do. He was trying to be a good dog even though he knew I was in trouble. Then he could tell that Mom was upset with him for not helping me. And when the car came along, he thought she was trying to put him in it to get rid of him!. Twice! As in get in. No? Meet the nice child. Now get in. What a dufus

 Now that I stop to think about it, I guess Riley wasn’t having such a good day either.

 Later that afternoon the mom of the monster dog came to our house to see if I was ok. She figured out I was ok when I stood on the other side of the door window barking at the top of my lungs at her. I could hear what she was saying through the door. She had been a nervous wreck all afternoon and couldn’t take having this happen again, so her husband was taking the monster terrier to have her put to sleep. I am not sure what that means, but I do remember that when my step-sister Ivy went to be put to sleep, she never came back. What that means to me is that I don’t have to be afraid to take walks in our neighborhood. Mom seemed kind of sad the rest of the day, with lots of other mixed up feelings just like Riley. I was just glad I didn’t get killed. I am  Lexi, the poor baby.

Now, here is a Memory Monday from Noodle. (my wonderful boyfriend) Noodle 2

Sunday Afternoon Walk

It’s been raining, then the sun has been coming out and it has been “steaming.” In between the rain and the steam, we took a walk today.

Me getting whacked with Riley's tail

Me getting whacked with Riley’s tail

A smarter way to walk.

A smarter way to walk.

Notice the NPR leash? It’s mine. It was my pledge that Mommy paid that got us that gift. Sometimes I let Riley use it. I am generous that way.

Notice the pinch collar around my neck? Mommy says it is so I don’t choke myself with my own collar. It’s true that I never pull when I wear the dreaded pinch collar. *sigh* Is it my fault that I am so enthusiastic?

We usually walk down the road in our subdivision and circle around the cul-de-sac. I used to do my “business” there because there is an island in the middle with trees and weeds and bushes. Now I am not allowed in it because Mommy thinks that is where I got poison ivy on my hair and then rubbed against her or the bed sheets. She has blisters on her legs and rashes all the way around her neck. So I held it until we got back home. BOL, what good is a walk if you can’t do your business? Oh well, I really don’t want Mommy to be miserable.

Everyone have a good Sunday!

Playing my Favorite Game

Mom and Dad spent most of the day moving things around. I sat outside and watched. First they moved a bunch of Dad’s stuff out of the shed. Then they moved a bunch of my brother Andrew’s stuff out of the garage and into the the newly emptied space in the shed. (Andrew, if you are reading this, I didn’t have any say in the whole thing.) (And they promised me you will like what they have done.) Then they moved Dad’s stuff that was now sitting in the yard into the garage where my brother Andrew’s stuff had been. What the? OK, so they did some cleaning and sorting in between, and I heard something about wanting to sell all the stuff that ended up in the garage. So maybe they actually have a plan. They are both big on organizing and have fun spending time together organizing things.

What didn’t happen was we didn’t get to have our dance party. I was mightily disappointed until Mommy said, “Let’s play your favorite game: Leave It, Find It.”

Dad has left now for a band gig. He plays a horn called a sax in a big band. That’s why we didn’t have time for the dance party, but he said we will do that tomorrow. Yip, yip, yippee! I am Lexi, the best treat finder ever!